BEIJING, June 29 (Xinhua) -- China's massive investment in its manned space program has brought benefits to a variety of other sectors, a manned space program official said Friday.
Wang Zhaoyao, an official with China's manned space program office, said the country's 39-billion-yuan (6.19 billion U.S. dollars) aerospace investment has helped China grasp basic space technology and boosted the development of its aerospace industry.
Investment has largely been directed toward research and development, sample development and covering the costs of experiments, Wang said.
The manned space program has earned more than 900 national patents and technological awards, helping to promote research in relevant scientific sectors, Wang said.
China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft safely returned to Earth on Friday after completing a successful manual docking procedure with the Tiangong-1 lab module. The Shenzhou-9 was crewed by three astronauts, including Liu Yang, the country's first female astronaut.
The manned space program is not only essential to China's global image, but has also boosted national pride and increased economic and cultural development, Wang said.
The program has strengthened the development of some sectors and supported innovation and industrial upgrades in others, he added.
"The development of space technology is closely related to everyone's lives," he said, citing examples from television broadcasting, global navigation and disaster control.
Four hundred technologies developed through the space program have been applied in the education, mining and health care sectors, Wang said.